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Michigan city bureaucrats use Zika hysteria to criminalize puddles of water

Water puddles

(NaturalNews) For decades, bureaucrats and elected leaders in Detroit mismanaged the city's finances to the point where retirement and other benefits far surpassed the tax base and led to the largest urban bankruptcy in recent history.

Now, more bureaucrats and elected officials in a nearby city want to punish city residents further – by essentially criminalizing water puddles.

No, this is not a joke.

As reported by CBS Detroit, the mayor of nearby Warren, Jim Fouts, wants to use the pretext of mosquito-borne viruses like West Nile and now Zika as a "proactive" way to cite and ticket people who have the audacity to keep areas of standing water on their premises.

"Many years ago when I was on the city council, we didn't have West Nile and then we got it," Fouts said. "And if you remember, Warren was one of the top cities in Michigan to have several fatalities from West Nile."

Hence the hyperactive approach – though nobody has West Nile now, or Zika, for that matter.

Fouts said that the city will begin issuing tickets to anyone who allegedly harbors disease-spreading mosquitoes on their property, as if, suddenly, it is the job of Warren residents to become vector-borne disease specialists.

"We have zero tolerance for anyone with a swimming pool or large water area with standing water," said Fouts. "We are going to issue major ticket violations. We are going to treat this as a potential epidemic."

Punishing people even though there is no virus present

The Michigan Department of health says Yellow Fever is a serious mosquito-born disease that also causes fever and flu-like symptoms, jaundice, bleeding from multiple areas including the liver and kidneys, and respiratory and other organ failure. There isn't a specific treatment for Yellow Fever; care is supportive, based on symptoms. Like other mosquito-borne viruses, protection includes repellents and protective clothing.

But there isn't any Yellow Fever in Warren, either. So what Fouts and Co. are describing as a proactive policy seems more predatory than anything else.

Elsewhere, more rational public officials are not trying to scare the general public – or punish them for something out of their control – when it comes to the latest mosquito-borne illness. In Florida, for example, where Zika really exists, Gov. Rick Scott and Miami-Dade officials have gotten together to discuss options, which is what leaders do. They are asking residents to take the same protective measures that Warren is asking residents to take: cover up, use some repellent and stay alert.

What they aren't doing, however, is punishing residents with tickets for having pools and other "standing water." That would get to be quite lucrative in southern Florida – considering the number of residents with pools – but it would also drive people out of the area and hurt the region's tourism.

Rude awakening?

As for Zika, other than being a threat to women who are pregnant, the virus is mild and nothing at all like Yellow Fever or West Nile. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus' symptoms include joint pain, a fever and possibly a rash, as well as a headache. In other words, there is no need for the panic taking place in Warren.

More and more we see bureaucrats and elected officials using perceived "emergencies" to punish the populations they are supposed to be serving. It's not a concept that was much in fashion during the founding of our country, for if it had been, virtually no state would have ratified the Constitution. In fact, our founding document would never have been written if authoritarianism was the theme.

It's not hard to see that residents who are fined and ticketed in Warren for something over which they have no control – or, in the case of having a pool, being punished for possessing a luxury – are going to be upset, and they should be. City officials and a particular mayor who don't realize that may just be in for a rude awakening.





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